The Basics Shootout: Putting the Top Tees to the Test

DenimHunters Magazine. May 2023 / Feature

The World's Best Men's T-Shirt? Big Claim! We've Reviewed 8 Tees That Might Fit The Bill.

The world of heritage basics got a huge shot in the arm when, in 2011, fashion designers Gitta and Peter Plotnicki found a nearly century-old Merz b. Schwanen henley in a Berlin flea market. The vintage hunters had seen plenty of early-century worker’s shirts, but nothing quite like this. 

The triangular under-arm inserts, the cuffs made from different-sized loops, the lack of side seams, and the woven label with the swan logo all indicated that this was a sui generis piece of knitwear. Their curiosity was piqued.

Gitta and Peter started investigating the brand and found that the Merz family had shut down operations in 2008. In the brand’s Albstadt factory, rows of ancient loopwheelers had been gathering dust. 

With the help of “textilist” Rudolf Loder, and with the blessing of the Merz family, Gitta and Peter got these machines humming again and woke the sleeping swan.

  ​          Bryan Szabo • DenimHunters 

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Bryan Szabo May 15, 2023
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